This neo-noir crime drama by temperamental German auteur Werner Herzog borrows the title of a classic 90s sleaze-fest, but that’s about it for the similarities. Herzog’s tale of a disintegrating lawman is set in beautifully shot post-Katrina New Orleans. With a loose-cannon cop, a prostitute love interest and botched drug deals, the story is hardly the height of originality. But luckily leading man Nicholas Cage is in top form. Known for his extensive collaboration with famed loony Klaus Kinski, Herzog is an old hand at coaxing riveting performances out of actors. Melancholy and manic in equal measure, Cage rampages through the city in ruins like a broken wind-up doll. PREMIERE 15 JAN.
Deals with the devil never really pan out, do they? When old Nick comes claiming his dues from old Dr Parnassus, the doc must enlist his travelling burlesque show for a race against time through a series of fantasy dreamscapes to get out of the mess. This film will no doubt be remembered for a posthumous performance by the late Heath Ledger, whose loss is made up by the trio of Hollywood hunks Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. But this is also a return to form by crackpot director Terry Gilliam. The former Monty Python animator conjures up some stunning visuals, even if his sense of drama and human relationships once again proves somewhat less acute
In Victorian society, upholding a facade of moral purity was important. Behind closed doors any kind of depravity could be indulged in, but all that was kept firmly out of public sight. If they’d had TV back then, they would probably have banned The Moment of Truth, a Colombian format that is sweeping the world, and now Finland!
Each week a contestant walks into the studio and answers a series of embarrassing personal questions to win a cash prize. To call their bluff, a pre-show lie detector test is administered. What comes out is the ignominious true face of humanity. Thus the appeal of the show is easy to understand. Seeing the poor saps spill their guts on their darkest personal secrets makes people feel better about little digressions of their own, which they’d rather keep under the lid.
Attention Man United fans: you’ve got yourselves a movie. The new piece by Ken Loach centres around Eric Bishop, a depression-prone postman, who, being a football fanatic, seeks help for his remorse-ridden life from his greatest idol, Eric Cantona. As Eric struggles with his two rebellious step-sons and longs for his teenage love, Cantona’s undying aphorisms and highlight-reel goals build up his confidence. Not the strongest of stories, and at moments lost between genres, but with plenty of warmth and buddy humour the movie shows how a life can be turned around.
PREMIERE 13 NOV.
The issue of illegal immigrants in the USA has been tackled in countless movies, but few depictions have shed light on the perilous path people take to get there. American cinematographer-turned-director Cary Fukunaga’s feature debut is a harrowing story of immigrants making their way from Honduras through Mexico to the US. The road is fraught with dangers, police raids, brutal Mexican gangs and border guards. Sidestepping typical melodramatic landmines but still maintaining a compelling grip, the story leaves an ashen taste in your mouth. It’s beautiful in a grim, low-key way, and altogether an important film.